Milan is in the spotlight again. Last week the Italian capitale della moda welcomed the protagonists of Made in Italy and world fashion with an event that is becoming more and more diverse and inclusive. The Milan Fashion Week was held in presence, after almost two years, and included a lot of events, fashion shows and meetings.
From the 22nd to the 26th of September the city also welcomed the 6th edition of the Afro Fashion Week, event that for years now has been expanding the borders of the fashion world to include more nations and continents. The Afro Fashion Week, promoted by the Afro Fashion Association, was held concurrently with the Milan Fashion Week, since both focused on social and environmental issues.
“Fab 5. We are made in Italy” was one of the opening events. It was created in February 2021, thanks to the collaboration between Stella Jean, the only black woman within the Camera della Moda Italiana (the Italian Fashion Chamber), Edward Buchanan and Michelle Francine Ngomo, head of the Afro Fashion Association. The aim of the project is to affirm BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) designers in the world of Made in Italy fashion.
This year “Fab 5, We are made in Italy” was dedicated to women. The participants were five fashion designers with roots in Cuba, Togo, Haiti, India, and Morocco.
Sheetal Shah, Nyny Rike Goungou, Romy Calzado Celda, Zineb Hazim and Judith Saint Germain were spokeswomen for the need for greater inclusion and the recognition of the added value that BIPOC’s creativity could bring to the entire system.
The project “Beyond Mitumba – Unveiling the Unseen” was created for young emerging designers, chosen by the Afro Fashion Association. The word “Mitumba” refers to a widespread practice typical of developing countries, which consists of re-selling second-hand clothes bought in the West. The constant flow of clothes unintentionally creates textile waste dumps.
This creates a vicious cycle that has a negative impact on the environment, and at the same time inhibits local fashion industries. “Beyond Mitumba – Unveiling the Unseen” is a project that aims the promotion of textile recycling, showing what is usually “unseen”. The Milan Fashion Week was therefore the perfect meeting point between inclusion and environmentalism.